Grape cake

grape cake

There has been a bumper crop of grapes at my niece’s house this year. There have been lots of grapes in previous years. But this year with the warm weather these grapes are really delicious. They are small and unfortunately seeded, but for outdoor grown English grapes they are very, very good.

bowl of grapes

Until I picked up a copy of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italy from the local charity shop I had no idea that grape cake was a thing. He also recommends freezing grapes and enjoying them frozen as a dessert with a bit of chocolate – my goodness, frozen grapes are delicious. So quite a few bunches have been frozen and then a couple of bunches made their way into this cake. The cake is really good. It’s a shame these grapes have seeds. I didn’t remove the seeds prior to including the grapes in the cake batter and they do ruin the texture of the cake a little. But with these grapes being so small, taking the seeds out would have been a long-winded process.

I have altered Jamie’s recipe. Well, I can’t help myself from tinkering. So this is my recipe for grape cake. Blueberries, raspberries or apple (chopped up small) would be a good alternative to grapes if you don’t have any handy. I had a bit of dessert wine left over that needed using up so I included it in this cake. If you don’t have any to hand then just use more milk in its place, so 150ml milk rather than the 75ml. This is a lovely moist cake and I will be trying it with other fruit too.

4 eggs
250g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, melted
150g extra virgin olive oil
75ml sweet wine (or you could use milk if you don’t have any sweet wine)
75ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
400g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
600g grapes, or blueberries, or raspberries or apple chopped into small dice


Preheat the oven to 180°c, 350°f, gas mark 4 or use the middle shelf of the Aga’s baking oven. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.

Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer until thick and moussey and the whisk leaves a trail. Pour in the cooled butter, olive oil, wine, milk, lemon zest  and vanilla extract and beat again until combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently. Add three-quarters of the grapes and stir in gently. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and place into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and place the remaining grapes on top of the cake. Push them gently into the batter. Place back in the oven and cook for another 30-40 minutes until the cake feels firm when you press a finger on top. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for ten minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

sliced grape cake

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25 thoughts on “Grape cake”

  1. The Country Cook

    Glad you are back cooking, how is new venture progressing?
    Don’t think I fancy all those seeds so will try it with apple, wine in it sounds nice..a good reason to open a bottle “I need it for my cooking” 🙂

  2. Well, what a good idea. Like you, I’d never thought of grapes as a cake-fruit, but having just bought a job lot, remaindered from £2.00 a pack to 39p, I need a means of using them up quickly (not that wolfing the lot down as is, is a hardship)

  3. English grown outdoor grapes? Wow! I’ve never been to keen on the idea of grapes in a cake, but I guess I ought to try before I dismiss it totally. And yours does look very good. Like the idea of freezing grapes. How do you do it? In a bag or out in the open.

    1. It has been an interesting summer in the garden with the warm weather hasn’t it? I have popped them in a bag and straight into the freezer.The first time I did it was with a punnet on offer at the shops and I just put the plastic wrapped punnet straight into the freezer. They are a delicious revelation.

  4. I’ve made it! It’s great, and Malcolm ate three, yes three slices. For preference, another time I’d use smaller grapes: these were Thompson and a bit too big I’d say. This recipe coud become a firm favourite: I still have wild bilberries in the freezer, picked in August, and I think this could be a real good use for them. Also, the mixture was so copious I used it to make a 20 cm. round cake and a 1lb. loaf cake. It worked perfectly. Thank you. As ever, your recipes are interesting, and they work.

    1. I am really glad you made it and that you and Malcolm enjoyed it so much. The bilberries will be wonderful in it. It was a big cake so to split it is a good idea. Thank you for the lovely compliment.

  5. Ha! How funny … I just made a cake last weekend to use up some rasps and blueberries in the back of the fridge which had seen better days, and it wasn’t dissimilar to yours. There were grapes in the fridge too, but I never once thought of using those as well! Will do next time though! xCathy

    1. Great minds think alike Cathy! Have a go with the grapes, they are a revelation. These ones worked because they are small like blueberries. Maybe chop larger grapes into smaller pieces.

  6. Have this cake in the oven right now for the first time. Used small green grapes as that is all I had and zest of a huge orange as had no lemons. I have friends coming this afternoon so am looking forward to a piece with a nice cup of tea.
    Hotfoot, Devon, England


        My friends and I loved this cake so much that I’ve made it again since then using black grapes and the orange and lemon zest. It was delicious made both ways. Thank you so much for the superb recipe. I look forward to making more of your recipes. Great blog, by the way.

  7. Hello : ) Made this yesterday and it’s wonderful! Thankyou so much for sharing the idea. I personally love the heaviness of the cake and the squelchiness of the (seedless!) grapes! Unfortunately my kids are not keen on it and I’m on a low carb diet ( well, I did have 3 slices of the cake – had to sample it as the baked) so now it has to go into storage until my husband returns next week. My question is – will it freeze???? If anyone knows or has tried it please let me know as I am likely to scoff the whole thing if it sits out on my kitchen worktop much longer.

    Many thanks in advance : )

    1. Hi Judith, I am glad you are enjoying the cake. I love this one too. I think it will freeze quite successfully, just give it plenty of time to thaw out when your husband returns. I haven’t tried but know that it works well with other cakes.

  8. Thank you for this beautiful article! ❤️
    We just picked 3 big bowls of grapes from the garden, I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    Thank your suggesting freezing them too, it’s a great idea! They will be amazing for smoothies, breakfast bowls and desserts!

    Thank you!


  9. hello kath, this is the best grape cake recipe that i really want to try. thanks for sharing it with us.
    I was wondering how much milk do I need for one of these grape cake recipes? because I don’t have sweet wine, and the optional is to replace it with milk right? because this recipe also uses 75 ml of milk, does the amount need to be added?

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